World, Asia - Pacific, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Australia, India, S. Korea ease COVID-19 restrictions

Tourist resorts open in Australia, China; India allows several industries to resume work

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 20.04.2020
Australia, India, S. Korea ease COVID-19 restrictions

ANKARA

Several countries in the Asia-Pacific region are slowly easing restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Australia

The authorities have reopened two Gold Coast beaches along the eastern coast of Australia on Monday. However, outsiders have been advised not to travel to these destinations, local broadcaster ABC news reported.

The beaches were closed earlier this month.

Australia has more than 6,500 cases of the coronavirus, while 67 people have died in the country.

The local council in New South Wales have also decided to reopen its beaches from Monday despite warnings from health officials that the area was a coronavirus hotspot.

Coogee, Maroubra and Clovelly beaches will reopen after they were closed a month ago.

China

China’s capital Beijing reopened 73 tourist sites.

However, officials said that tourist sites should not receive more than 30% of “real-time number of visitors”, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Among the tourist destinations are the Great Wall sites of Mutianyu, Simatai and Badaling. Meanwhile Gubei Water Town, leaning against the Simatai Great Wall in Miyun District, is expected to reopen on April 23.

The officials urged resort operators to promote contactless services such as mobile payment, e-tickets and guide machines to avoid cross-infection.

COVID-19 first appeared in Wuhan city of China. More than 83,000 people were infected in the country while over 4,500 other died due to the infection. 

South Korea

South Korea is easing guidelines for religious gathering and recruitment tests after country witnessed steep decrease in new coronavirus cases, Yonhap news agency reported.

However, social distancing measures will continue to remain in place.

South Korea had asked religious communities to avoid mass gatherings to protect people from getting infected by the coronavirus.

It was for the third consecutive day that new cases in South Korea remained below 20.

Health officials reported just 13 more cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the tally to 10,674.

India

With a population of 1.3 billion, India on Monday allowed “select” economic activity to resume.

The selected industries in areas less affected by the deadly coronavirus will be allowed to resume work “to generate jobs for migrants and reduce the distress for those hardest hit by the prolonged lockdown”, local broadcaster NDTV reported.

Country is under lockdown to stem spread of the infection until May 3.

India has over 17,000 cases and over 550 people have died due to the infection.

Authorities will also allow supply of essential goods to local grocery stores and e-commerce retailers while construction work will resume on roads, and irrigation projects and industrial projects in rural areas where no additional workers are required.


Thailand

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday stressed the need to strike a balance between the battle against the virus and economic benefits of restarting businesses.

After a meeting of Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said the emergency decree “is still necessary under the present circumstances”.

Thailand has so far reported 2,792 cases of the coronavirus after new 27 were found today.

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